Match of the Round
Mid North Coast 2 (Niki Bestwick, Abbie Watson) defeated Wallsend 0. Half-time: 0-0. Played yesterday at Wallsend Oval
Mid North Coast put a four-point gap on the chasing pack with an important 2-0 win over Wallsend yesterday.
The win continued Mid North Coast’s late-season surge and put four points between themselves in fourth place and South Wallsend in fifth.
The loss put a big dent in Wallsend’s top-four hopes in their first Herald WPL season.
The teams remained locked at nil-all at the break but Mid North Coast broke the deadlock directly after half-time when Wallsend made a defensive error in front of goal and Niki Bestwick was on hand to take advantage.
Abbie Watson extended the lead midway through the second stanza when she scored with a cracking first-time left-footed shot from just inside the box.
Mid North Coast coach Matt Baker was thrilled to continue their good form and get another three points ahead of a tough weekend double header this weekend against Merewether and Adamstown.
“They had some good chances and probably hit the crossbar and the post in the first 15 or 20 minutes and there was not a lot in it in the first half, we were a bit lazy up the top,” Baker said.
“But the second half was a different ball game – we just fought for everything.”
Wallsend captain-coach Keely Gawthrop rued missed opportunities.
“We were really looking to win this game,” Gawthrop said. “We went out firing and definitely dominated and should’ve slotted two chances.
“But then after the break we were a bit complacent at the back and they scored early then 15-20 minutes in and it was 2-0 and we just couldn’t get back from that.”
Wallsend play Thornton in a rescheduled match on Wednesday night.
Adamstown 4 (Lauren Allen 2, Olivia Trinka, Emily Frost) defeated Warners Bay 1 (Maddy Smith). Half-time: Adamstown led 2-1. Played Saturday at Adamstown No.1 Oval
Adamstown bounced back from just their second loss of the season by beating a flat Warners Bay 4-1.
Warners Bay held unbeaten competition leaders Merewether to a scoreless draw on Wednesday night but coach Leon Davis thought the performance had taken its toll on his players.
“We were suffering badly from Wednesday night,” Davis said. “I didn’t really know how much until the warm-up. During the warm-up I could tell, they were flat and there was no energy.”
Davis was forced to make injury substitutions with the game not yet a minute old and it set the tone for the match for the visitors.
“When we got back to 2-1 I thought we got on top for a while … but physically we couldn’t keep going and in the end we ran out of legs,” Davis said.
“At the end of the game we had 11 players under ice.”
Davis said his biggest concern now is how many players he will have fit for next round.
Adamstown took an early lead through Olivia Trinka and held a 2-0 advantage within 20 minutes after Lauren Allen scored the first of her match brace.
But Maddy Smith scored for Warners Bay to bridge the gap to one goal by the break.
Emily Frost scored in the second half and Allen completed her double to put the hosts back in the winners’ circle.
Rosebud welcomed back Clare Cummings and Taylor Kelly but were still without Kate Lindsay, Mikaela Howell and goalkeeper Bec Miller, who has sustained a season-ending knee injury.
Adamstown coach John Jiggins was pleased with the character of his squad to bounce back from their 2-0 loss to Mid North Coast.
“I thought we played well, especially after last week’s debacle,” Jiggins said. “But that shows the character of this team.”
“It was tight at half-time but I felt we had it under control and overall I thought we played pretty well.”
Adamstown host third-placed Valentine on Wednesday night in a rescheduled Round 15 match.
Merewether 2 (Leticia Quinlan, Jamee Ellis) defeated Thornton 0. Half-time: Merewether led 2-0. Played yesterday at Myamblah Oval
Merewether retained their one-point competition lead with a composed and dominant 2-0 win in blustery conditions.
The hosts took a 1-0 ascendancy around the 20-minute mark when Leticia Quinlan scored from just outside the box.
Jamee Ellis extended Merewether’s lead when she scored from long range with a superbly taken free kick on the 40-minute mark.
The traffic was all Merewether’s way in the second half and the score could have been more if it was not for some athletic saves from Thornton goalkeeper Nat Wiseman in her return from injury.
The match was the first in four weeks for Thornton and coach Alan Primmer was happy with the effort.
“At half-time we looked like we hadn’t played in a while … we changed things a bit and crowded the midfield to try to force them wide and proved we could change things midstream,” Primmer said.
“The big thing for this game was to get going with eight games still to play in four weeks.”
Merewether coach Cassie Koppen described the performance as a “big confidence boost” after a nil-all draw midweek with Warners Bay.
The match was the second in a tough schedule for United, who play South Wallsend Wednesday night then back up for a weekend double-header against Mid North Coast and Warners Bay.
“We had a few players back today that we have been missing in recent games and I think we were back on top of our game,” Koppen said.
“We want to try to try to keep points ticking over, over the next month. I think we’re fit enough and have got enough quality players … hopefully we can get through unscathed.”
Thornton host Wallsend on Wednesday night in a rescheduled match.
Valentine 4 (Maddy Searl, MJ Mason, Laura Austin, Cassidy Davis) defeated South Wallsend 1 (Gabbie Deacon). Half-time: Valentine led 3-1.Played yesterday at Walker Fields
Valentine continued their unassuming push towards the semi-finals with a dominant 4-1 win over a decimated South Wallsend side.
Phoenix have been comfortable in third place for several weeks and coasted to another victory yesterday, scoring inside the first minute and holding a 3-1 advantage at the break.
South Wallsend, who had just six fresh first-grade players to start the match, levelled the score around the 20-minute mark but the close scoreline was short-lived.
South Wallsend coach Marc Hingston lamented his side’s lack of fresh first-grade players and felt “we had lost the game before we started”.
Life does not get any easier for South Wallsend ahead of their rescheduled clash against unbeaten league leaders Merewether on Wednesday night after they lost captain and playmaker Laura Hall to a knee injury during the game.
Hall is expected to miss the midweek match, adding to the growing toll of injured and unavailable.
Valentine women’s football manager Terry Campbell said Phoenix used the second half to work on their passing game and was pleased to see “some beautiful passing at times”.
Phoenix take on Adamstown in a rescheduled match on Wednesday night.
Points table: Merewether 36, Adamstown 35, Valentine 31, Mid North Coast 20, South Wallsend 16, Wallsend 12, Thornton 12, Warners Bay 12.
Adamstown v Valentine at Adamstown No.1 Oval;
South Wallsend v Merewether at Walker Fields;
Thornton v Wallsend at Thornton Park.
Mid North Coast v Merewether at Taree Zone Field
Valentine v Wallsend at CB Complex;
Warners Bay v Merewether at John St Oval;
Mid North Coast v Adamstown at Taree Zone Field;
South Wallsend v Thornton at Walker Fields.